Press release

Fans heading to Saturday’s FA Cup final advised to plan journeys

Football fans heading out of Manchester for Saturday’s FA Cup final in London are being advised by Highways England to plan their journeys.

Manchester United face Crystal Palace at Wembley Stadium on Saturday (21 May) and, with a 5.30pm kick-off, many fans are expected to make the trip by road rather than rail to accommodate the possibility of extra time and a penalty shoot-out if the game ends in a draw.

Routes between the North West and London, including the M6, M40 and M1, are likely to be particularly busy before and after Saturday’s match.

Highways England’s regional control centres in the North West, the Midlands and Eastern region - which controls the northern section of the M25 - are all on standby to monitor traffic, set electronic signs and dispatch patrols of traffic officers to clear any incidents as quickly as possible to keep football fans and other motorway users on the move.

Drivers are being reminded key road schemes are underway – typically with narrow lanes and 50 mph speed limits – with a number of smart motorway projects across the motorway network.

The regional control centres and Highways England’s National Traffic Operations Centre near Birmingham will be keeping a close eye on the potential for heavy traffic moving up and down the country before and after the semi-final.

Drivers are being advised to:

  • plan and leave plenty of time for journeys
  • check travel conditions before setting out and, where it is safe to do so, during journeys
  • ensure they and their cars are fit for the 400 mile round trip to Wembley – including taking regular breaks and topping up with fuel.

Highways England provides live traffic information via its website, local and national radio travel bulletins, electronic road signs and mobile apps. Local Twitter services are also available at @highwaysNWEST .

Providing they can do so safely, road users can also call the Highways England information line on 0300 123 5000 to keep up to date with road conditions.

General enquiries

Members of the public should contact the Highways England customer contact centre on 0300 123 5000.

Media enquiries

Journalists should contact the Highways England press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer.